A colorful and cheerful plant that is synonymous with the holiday season, Poinsettias are as much a part of Christmas decor as ornaments are. Plus, just like ornaments that your reuse every year, your poinsettia plant can also be used year after year. That’s right! With proper care and the right conditions, you can rebloom this pretty red plant for next year. So, instead of tossing it away, keep a little of the holiday season alive all year round and see your results rebloom again.
Poinsettias are mostly recognized for their bright red bracts (leaves) but are now available in colors such as white, pink, cream, and salmon. Having one of each color grouped together in a collection by the tree is quite striking. For reblooming, though, stick with the traditional red variety before experimenting with the other colors.
Caring for Your Poinsettia Once You Bring it Home
After choosing a healthy-looking poinsettia, one with no brown or drooping leaves or pests on the underside of them, one of the first things to decide is where in your home to put it. Poinsettias do well in bright, indirect light, temperature around 65 degrees F, and away from cold drafts.
How to Water Your Poinsettia
Overwatering is a common mistake people make with poinsettias. To avoid this, place your poinsettia (in its container with drainage holes) in a basin filled with a few inches of water. Let it sit here for 1 to 2 hours. Remove the plant from the basin when the soil is evenly moist and before it gets too soggy. Put the poinsettia back on its saucer dish and if any water drains into it, toss it away.
Water your poinsettia every three to five days depending on the humidity levels of your home. The soil should be moist to the touch. Allowing the plant to dry out in between waterings will help prevent root rot. If you notice the leaves begin to curl up, then that’s a sign the plant needs water.
When the holidays are over, poinsettia leaves start to droop and fall off. This is normal – discard the dropped leaves, keep the plant. Move the poinsettia to an area that is dark and cool and reduce watering to allow it to dry out a little. Monitor regularly until spring.
Spring and Summer Care for Your Poinsettia
In the spring, move the poinsettia back into a sunny area that receives bright, indirect light. Water it well and trim the stems to about six inches. If you like, now is a good time to repot the plant into a container just one size up. During the summer, you should see significant growth. When the stems reach a length of 6-10 inches, pinch them back several inches to promote a lush, full look. Continue doing this as needed until late summer.
Getting Your Poinsettia to Rebloom
Reblooming a poinsettia is an interesting feat, unlike most other flowering plants. Here’s how to start: Beginning in September, poinsettias need long periods of darkness – at least 12 hours of complete, uninterrupted darkness each day. A good way to achieve this is to place the poinsettia in a closet and put a box over it to ensure no light gets through. During the day, ample light is still required as well as a daytime temp of 65-70 degrees F, so move it from the closet to a sunny area.
Reblooming typically takes around 8 weeks, so begin during the end of September or early October to ensure beautiful red blooms by the holiday season. Getting a poinsettia to rebloom may take several tries – this plant takes patience and commitment. If it didn’t work out, you can always get a gorgeous new poinsettia from George’s Flowers and try again.